7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #727: Featuring Leo Timmers

h1 January 24th, 2021 by jules


How about a Dutch picture book import today? Let’s take a look at some spreads from Where Is the Dragon? (Gecko, February 2021) from Belgian author-illustrator Leo Timmers. It’s the story of a king who orders three knights — One, Two, and Three — to rid the kingdom of a menacing dragon.

Off march the knights. “Save the realm!” says the “brave” king. “But mainly me.” The knights aren’t without fear (they’ve never seen a dragon before), particularly Knights One and Two, as they trek through the dark forest. They do so almost as if on a stage, as each spread is underlined by a white stripe where the text is laid, and they continue forward, making their way through the book. In four separate instances (you can see some below), they see the shadowy outline of what they assume is a dragon — but things are revealed to be otherwise when Knight Three gets close to shine a candle (their single source of light) upon the shape. That shape that looked like a vicious sleeping dragon? It’s only a bed of bunnies, dining on carrots. Cue squeals of delight from the preschoolers with whom you’re sharing this one (and expect to spend some time poring over these reveals to see the clever ways in which Timmers matches imagination to reality).

The end, however, is a bit different. Just after the knights (well, most of them) have convinced themselves that there’s “no dragon taking wing” in the forest and the king is safe, readers are met with a surprise, which I won’t ruin for you here. (There may be fire involved.)

Timmers’s rhyming text has been translated from the Dutch by James Brown, and it would make for a fabulous story-time choice. Timmers’s illustrations feature rich colors, lots of textures, and characters that seem to stand off the page. He works wonders with light and shadow here — to great comic effect.

Below are some illustrations. Enjoy!


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(Click cover to enlarge)


WHERE IS THE DRAGON? Copyright text and illustrations © 2019 Leo Timmers. Originalliy published by Em. Querido’s Uitgeverij, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, under the title Waar is de draak? English-language edition © Geck Press Ltd 2021. Translation © James Brown 2021. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Gecko Press.

* * * Jules’s Kicks * * *

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

1) The inauguration! Kamala! It feels good to feel hope again. It feels good to have someone with empathy in the White House.

2) Amanda Gorman. Here is Rahele Jomepour Bell’s painting of her:


3) Max Richter is one of my favorites. Here’s his very recent Tiny Desk (Home) Concert:


4) Kate Davis has covered Daniel Johnston’s 1984 album Retired Boxer, and it is all sooo good. This song has been on repeat for me all week:



5) Driveways.

6) The Horn Book’s round-up of the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards acceptance speeches.

7) Looking forward to this event in March.

p.s. ALA’s Youth Media Awards are tomorrow!

What are YOUR kicks this week?

6 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #727: Featuring Leo Timmers”

  1. Hello, Imps! Hello, dragons! Those bunnies are particularly adorable. Thank you, Leo.

    Jules: Three cheers for empathy and hope! Amanda Gorman’s work was wonderful. Have fun at the events. While listening to the Kate Davis performance you posted, I wondered if you’d like Sarah Harmer. Listening to the Max Richter set now and I was immediately into that first piece. It made me think of Beth’s Theme by Ólafur Arnalds from Broadchurch.

    My kicks from the past week:
    1) Chipping away at the to-do list
    2) Starting new projects
    3) Completing other projects
    4) Learning new things
    5) Research
    6) Storytelling
    7) Craft

  2. What a fun book! Love the 3 knights and the scary-turned-into-funny surprises they discover.

    Jules – Big yes to Amanda Gorman, the inauguration and hope! Listening to the Max Richter, and I love the room he’s in and the good dog laying in the grass outside the door. That trailer for Driveways looks good, adding to my movie list.

    Little Willow – cheers for that to-do list, progress and completed projects always feel so good. Learning new things is always awesome.

    My kicks this week:
    1) The inauguration and all the feelings of joy, hope, relief, pride and awe that it brought.
    2) Celebrating the inauguration with King Cake from New Orleans and a Queen Kamala cocktail from local women-owned and run Freeland Spirits.
    3) Amanda Gorman in that yellow coat was inspired and inspiring. What a bright light she is.
    4) Seeing a happy Dr. Fauci just beaming at being allowed to speak about the facts. (I feel like he is so many of us right now – giddy with relief and happiness.)
    5) This Curtis Stigers version of She Knows;

    6) Glorious sunny cold day yesterday and walking with Daisy in the sunshine was wonderful.
    7) I may have shared in the past about my love for the Museum of Four in the Morning (on Insta and Twitter as @mofitm) and Friday night/Saturday morning got to be in a Zoom hang with its creator and other night owls. Great conversation with very diverse and interesting people.
    7.5) Watched “One Night in Miami” and really loved it. Great cast, great script and Regina King did a great job directing.

    BONUS: found this fun song and video Kitty Decides that makes me think of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman (but it would’ve been grittier with MP):

    Have a great week Imps!

  3. My links didn’t work! Here’s the Curtis Stigers:

    Here’s Kitty Decides:

  4. Little Willow: Don’t you wish you could watch Broadchurch for the first time again? So good. I have heard (and like) Sarah Harmer! Evidently, Kate Davis also sings jazz (I think). … Seven cheers for learning new things! Good kick, that one.

    Rachel, a Queen Kamala cocktail! I want one! I second kick #4. Looking forward to watching One Night in Miami soon! Last night we watched Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and just go ahead and give Chadwick the Oscar! Thanks for the links. Gonna go watch now.

    have a good week, you two!

  5. I was so happy to find your blog about my favorite topic- children’s books! Decided to bookmark it to visit everyday. Felt it would be a much needed respite from the political world. Imagine my discouragement reading your January 24th entry. Guess I don’t need to bookmark your site. What a waste.

  6. Kings, knights and dragons!!! “Where Is The Dragon?” is a delightful treat! Thank you!

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